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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

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Theorising collaboration practice

Huxham, C. (2003) Theorising collaboration practice. Public Management Review, 5 (3). pp. 401-423. ISSN 1471-9037

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Abstract

This article provides an overview of the theory of collaborative advantage. This is a practice-oriented theory concerned with enhancing practical understanding of the management isssues involved in joint working across organizations. Two contrasting concepts are central to it: collaborative advantage which is concerned with the potential for synergy from working collaboratively; and, collaborative inertia which relates to the often disappointing output in reality. The theory is structured as a set of overlapping themes, which are predominantly issues that practitioners see as causing pain and reward in collaborative situations. Five example themes are discussed: common aims; power; trust; membership structures; and, leadership. It is argued that the theory captures the complexity that underlies collaborative situations and conveys it in a way that seems real to those involved. It aims to empower those involved through legitimising experienced frustration and providing conceptual handles to help address the practical issues involved.